Kristina Vogel on Team GB: ‘I don’t want to accuse anyone of anything but it is all very questionable’

German track rider spoke out after Team GB were the most successful team at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Kristina Vogel On Team GB: ‘I Don’t Want To Accuse Anyone Of Anything But It Is All Very Questionable’

Kristina Vogel. Photo: Graham Watson

Kristina Vogel has spoken out about the runaway success of Team GB s track riders at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games1, questioning how the squad performs on the biggest stage without winning much in the lead-up. The German rider beat both Becky James2 and Katy Marchant on the way to gold in the track sprint3, and also collected bronze in the team sprint4.

They were cannon fodder when you look at the last few years, Vogel said in reference to lacklustre performances by the British riders in World Championships5.

Now they come along with a (high) level, she continued. I don t want to accuse anyone of anything but it is all very questionable.

Kristina Vogel On Team GB: ‘I Don’t Want To Accuse Anyone Of Anything But It Is All Very Questionable’

Kristina Vogel (Ger) beats Becky James (GBr) with a lunge for the line in the women s sprint. Photo: Yuzuru Sunada

Team GB won six gold, four silver and a bronze in the velodrome in Rio. Furthermore, every rider who took to the track in a GB skinsuit came away with a medal of some colour. However, the team has been off the pace at recent Track World Championships. Jason Kenny6 gained three gold medals in Rio for example, but has won only two world titles since London 2012. Laurent Gan , the French sprint coach, also had questions about his rivals approach following an Olympics where his own riders gained just one bronze medal.

The recipe should be asked for from our neighbours because I don t understand, Gan said.

I don t know what they re doing.

These are teams that do nothing extraordinary for four years and once they arrive at the Olympics they outclass the rest of the world. Micha l D Almeida, one of Gan s charges, made further veiled comments following his third place in the team sprint.

We are human beings like them, we are made of the same stuff, we have a bike like they do, so why are they better? he wondered.

If I had the explanation I wouldn t be here today with a bronze medal around my neck.

I m not in their camp, in their country, I don t know how it works, I don t know what goes on, he continued, before making the key comment: I have my ideas about certain things. Six-time Olympic medallist Anna Meares7 also spoke after the track cycling8 at the Olympics9 came to a close, but has since sought to clarify her comments.

I would like to clarify that I never said or insinuated that #TeamGB are cheating or doing anything suspicious! pic.twitter.com/CjIa7vvWjd1011

Anna Meares (@AnnaMeares) August 16, 201612

It had been speculated that Meares might be pointing to foul play on the part of the British team, but has moved to state that this was not what she was saying. The Australian made it clear that the British performances make her scratch my head to think how we can be better competitive with them at the Olympics.

References

  1. ^ Rio 2016 Olympic Games (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  2. ^ Becky James (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  3. ^ track sprint (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  4. ^ team sprint (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  5. ^ World Championships (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  6. ^ Jason Kenny (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  7. ^ Anna Meares (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  8. ^ track cycling (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  9. ^ Olympics (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  10. ^ #TeamGB (twitter.com)
  11. ^ pic.twitter.com/CjIa7vvWjd (t.co)
  12. ^ August 16, 2016 (twitter.com)

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